Personnel: Jamie deRoy (vocals); Billy Stritch (vocals, piano); Emily Bindiger, Margaret Dorn (vocals, background vocals); Deborah Tranelli, Dee Hoty, Marcia Pelletiere, Eric Michael Gillett , Billy Mitchell , Kim Cea, Melanie Vaughan, Dennis Deal, Todd Johnson , Jeff Harnar, Jerry Dixon, Jim Vincent, K.T. Sullivan, Lisa Asher, Anne Runolfsson, Sal Viviano, Sally Kellerman, Scott Coulter, Stephanie Pope (vocals); Kevin Kuhn (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin); Sylvia Davanzo, Loana Guenova, Bob Mastro, Pauline Kim (violin); Adam Hyman (viola); Wanda Glowacka (cello); Kenny Dybisz (flute); George Wurzbach (accordion); Paul Ostermayer (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Chad Smith (bassoon); Glenn Drewes (trumpet); Susan Panny (French horn); Elliot Mason (trombone); Philip Fortenberry, Daryl Kojak, David Gaines, Lawrence Yurman, Jeff Waxman, Michael Orland, Shelly Markham (piano); Richard Sarpola (acoustic bass); Douglas Romoff (electric bass); Rex Benicasa (drums, percussion); Darwin Gross, Ed Smith, John Redsecker (drums); Tabbatha Ferguson, Shannon Carson, Mellisa Carrion, Members of the Young Peoples Theatre Project, Daryl Rothman, James Followell, Sarra Mazur, Maria Hedin, Paul Rolnick (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Dan Lawrence.
Liner Note Author: Barry Kleinbort.
Recording information: Grandma's Warehouse, LA; Manhattan Beach Recording, New York, NY.
Arrangers: Philip Fortenberry; Daryl Kojak; Steve Sweeting; Brian Lasser; Rod Hausen; Lawrence Yurman; Jeff Waxman; Michael Orland; Shelly Markham; Billy Stritch; Peter J. Wilhousky.
Variety show and TV performer Jamie deRoy continues her series where she features her friends in different vocal settings based on an overall album theme. This time deRoy takes advantage of the Christmas season to headline another group of her very talented friends. These performers are among the cream of singers from cabaret, Broadway musical, and variety stages. Of the three excellent volumes released, this one stands out. It would be easy to attribute that status to the Christmas content, but it goes beyond just content. The arrangements, the presentations, and the ability and grand assortment of the performers deRoy has gathered for this CD make this not only one of the finer vocal albums celebrating the holiday season extant, but a wonderful vocal album regardless of theme. Whether it be "Winter Wonderland" done by Kim Cea and Jerry Dixon over the swinging violin of Bob Mastro or the Elizabethan-sonnet-like rendition of the parody "The Twelve Days After Christmas" by Dee Hoty, everything resonates with cheerfulness and gaiety mixed with the proper respect for the time of the year. Sal Viviano's version of "The Christmas Song" may not make us throw out Nat "King" Cole's version, but it's a nice one to have next to Cole's in one's Christmas music collection. In the "not so familiar song, but why isn't it" category is "Remember" by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, a pure story of nostalgia if there ever was one. The imitable Sally Kellerman adds a sultry "Santa Baby" for a touch of spice. There is not a deficient cut among the 16 on this CD, which makes this album highly recommended for any time of the year. ~ Dave Nathan